Published Monday, November 7, 2011 AT 11:09 AM / Updated at 7:02 PM
Recruiting: Visitors love NU after visit
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

The second-to-last home game of the year was a busy recruiting weekend for Nebraska football, which hosted several visitors in a 28-25 loss to Northwestern. Though none of the targets committed — not surprising, given the caliber of player that NU is targeting — the atmosphere and coaching staff made their impact.

Here are three dispatches from Huskers Illustrated, a recruiting partner with The World-Herald:

Defensive end Taiwan Johnson

The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder is down to Arkansas, NU and Oklahoma State, and the Huskers helped their cause on Saturday.

“It was everything I thought it would be,” he said. “It was sold out. It has a record. Fans were going crazy and they were in full effect giving the full support.”

A frank conversation with defensive ends coach John Papuchis — also the Huskers’ recruiting coordinator — left a particular impact on the Manvel, Texas native.

“He let me know the situation,” Johnson said. “They told me it’s going to be hard and there will be times where they demand a lot from me. It’s up to me whether I decide if I want to do this … I appreciate that. I understand it. In the back of the mind as a player, you understand it’s not going to be easy. But at the same time you don’t want to accept it.”

OSU gets a visit next weekend from the three-star prospect.

Read more here.

Linebacker Thomas Brown

At 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, Brown has the natural size to pack on 20 more pounds and be a natural middle linebacker, or stay on the weakside. During his visit Saturday, Brown got some good news from defensive coordinator Carl Pelini.

“He told me I could fit in at any of their linebacker spots and could compete early,” Brown said. “I think that is cool that I have the versatility to play any of their linebacker positions.”

The Garden, Calif., native next visits Arizona State. Brown is a key linebacker target; you could see NU taking four at that position in the 2012 class.

Read more here.

Wide receiver/defensive back Marques Mosley

He made the trip with teammate and Upland (Calif.) fullback prospect Christian Powell. The 6-foot-, 175-pounder doesn’t have an offer, but he does have a clearer idea of what Nebraska’s about.

“It was amazing,” he said. “The atmosphere was outstanding. The team was fun and the players were nice.”

Mosley spent more of his time talking to defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, but could be a fit on either side of the ball.

Read more here.

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.


  1. Matt Svoboda says:

    I keep hearing all of this, “We are going after some big recruits” talk and yet I am seeing a bunch of 3 star players and a few 4 star players in posts like these.

    Am I missing something?

    1. J says:

      I’d take a 3* or 4* player with speed and a good work ethic over a 5* baby any day of the week.

      1. John Schneider says:

        I’ll take my chances w. 5 star Tommie Frazier and Tyrone Williams any day. Good thing nobody was stubborn enough to infer from their ratings that they were “babies.”

  2. Pat J says:

    Yeah…I’ll take 3 and 4 stars with potential and are ready to work! I remember how all those 5-stars worked out in the Callahan era.

    1. Mike Snell says:

      You mean like Suh?

      1. Brad says:

        Suh was a 4 star recruit. Marlon Lucky was a 5 star and certainly had less impact than Suh. Callahan could recruit like crazy helped by the likes of Blake who recruited all the talent Stoops turned into a nc in 2 years. If Callahan had kept Pellini as his DC rather than going with his old pal, NU would have had some great teams.

  3. Brian says:

    Suh was a 4*

  4. DJ(fl) says:

    I still wonder how Callahan got those recruits to come here. Bo have some NFL credibility. It would seem more recuits of that caliber on the DEFENSIVE side of the ball would come here because of Bo Pelini. I even read a quote by an NFL scout stating that he runs his program like a NFL team.

    1. NW Husker says:

      Remember who BC staffed. Cringe every time I read an article about UNC and Butch Davis because the name JOHN BLAKE usually follows…

      1. Uppy says:

        Callahan could offer his NFL experience, promise your kid could make it big. Callahan couldn’t motivate our guys, Bo is awesome, 18 blackshirts was too many…5 or 6 at a time, we got caught sleeping against NW, may have cost us a trip to Indy.:(

  5. SteveM says:

    DJ said…”he (Pelini) runs his program like an NFL team”…

    I remember the same thing being said of a previous coach. How did that work out?

  6. mac says:

    The “blackshirts” are black because they’re caked with our opponents cleat-mud. I thought we were “deep” on the d-line even without Crick, according to Bo, Carl and others, but lacking a bit of depth at linebacker. Humm, do the coaches even know what they’re talking about or is it so much bull-mantra to avoid telling the truth for fear of hurting someone’s feelings? If we’re deep, then I hate to see what being “thin” might look like. Guess we just need to “keep getting better,” and for sure, “keep fixing ourselves and cleaning up our mistakes” and of course, “not worry about what the opponent might do” since “we’ll get it fixed and be fine.” Glad we don’t have a thing for which to be concerned. By the way, nice game Taylor! Sure wish the o-line had opened at least one hole against that fierce NW defense. a few holes for Rex, and that Bell had had fewer problems with his “gloves.”

    1. Matt Svoboda says:

      We were deep at Oline, and then we lost 3 of our top 4/5 guys.

  7. I would like to see a profile of what type of athlete we are in trying to recruit. Intellect,desire and speed, you can coach the other stuff. Is Bo actively recruiting? Who are Nebraska’s top recruiters?

    1. Bobby D. says:

      Cheez, your question, “Is Bo activley recruiting?” has to be one of the dumbest questions ever posted.

      1. Curt says:

        Bo isn’t on the recruiting trail as much as his assistants are. He comes in usually to close a deal if a kid’s wavering for the most part, or he goes somewhere when he hears of a juco player who could impact quickly. Otherwise, he doesn’t go on the road like Tom or Frank used to

  8. Matt Svoboda says:

    No one addressed what I actually said. We have always gotten 3 and 4 start recruits. This year everyone is saying we are going after much bigger recruits, but according to their ratings they are the exact same of what we have.

    So, why is everyone saying we are going after “much bigger fish” and then only showing us 3 star players with a few 4 star guys?

    1. huskerred says:

      I believe it is about the athletes size, not their stars. One can see from years past that is was about speed. In the Big 12 teams need speed; as most play a proset style which requires speed. Whereas, in the B1G it is more smash mouth up the middle style which requires bigger size and greater strenght.

    2. Ned says:

      The bigger recruits that we are going after don’t often commit until near the end of the recruiting process. Right now, most high school players are in the midst of their end of the season games and/or playoff games. As ridiculous as it is, it would be nice to see some players put on the Nebraska cap at the Army-All American game or something like it. Patience is a virtue, Matt.

      1. huskerred says:

        After receiving an offer, a player may choose to commit. This is a non-binding, oral agreement. Although more coaches have tried in recent years to get players to commit early, typically the most highly rated players commit within a month of National Signing Day, the day all high school players who will graduate that year can sign letters of intent to play for their college of choice. Signing Day always falls on the first Wednesday in February. Other players, who may not have as many offers to choose from, more often verbally commit earlier in the process. Players occasionally decide to sign with a different school from which they gave a verbal commitment, which often causes rancor between the fans and coaching staffs of the two schools. Junior college players, however, can sign scholarships in late December, once their sophomore seasons have ended.

        A letter of intent is binding for both the player and school for one academic year as long as the player is eligible to enroll at the college.

  9. Aaron says:


    Your links in the page are to, which the majority of us will not be able to read. FYI

  10. redNhastings says:

    The student-athletes from Upland,CA are in an excellent program. Year after year they are competeing for their league championship and they generally get deep in the CIF playoffs here in SoCal. They would know what it takes to compete at a Div I school. Upland HS usually has two or more players who get Div I offers.

  11. Lou Fiorelli says:

    Just a comment about this year team.I see no Sr. leadership on this team, great underclassmen which will great for the future. I feel we are year away from our goal. Keep moving forward Huskers.